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Five migrants drown in the English Channel

According to French media, five people died while crossing the English Channel. Around 100 people have been rescued – just hours after Britain approved its new deportation deal.

According to French media reports, five migrants have died while crossing the English Channel towards Great Britain. According to the newspaper Voix du Nord, the bodies were discovered on the beach at Wimereux in northern France – and there is said to be a child among them.

About 100 migrants were rescued and taken aboard a French navy ship. They will be taken to the port of Boulogne, the newspaper said. The rescue operation is ongoing – helicopters and boats are in use, according to the regional newspaper.

Britain's deportation deal with Rwanda

Just hours before the bodies were discovered, the British Parliament approved Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's plan to deport migrants arriving in Britain by boat to Rwanda.

The new law allows Britain to deport undocumented refugees to Rwanda to complete their asylum process. According to the British government, this is intended to serve as a deterrent to refugees and smugglers. For the law to come into force, King Charles must give his consent. This is expected in the coming days.

As a result of the new regulations, Rwanda will be classified as a safe country in the future. This makes legal action against the deportations more difficult. The first flights are expected to take off within the next ten to twelve weeks, the British government announced.

Criticism of the deportation plan

Human rights groups described the law as inhumane and cruel. The UN has called on the British government to reconsider its plan. The controversial project threatens the rule of law and sets “a dangerous precedent worldwide,” said UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk.

Instead, Britain should “take practical measures to manage irregular refugee and migrant flows based on international cooperation and respect for international human rights standards.”

Escape across the English Channel

Every year tens of thousands of people try to cross the English Channel from France to Great Britain in small boats. According to the British government, the number of irregular crossings fell by a third last year to just under 30,000, after peaking at around 45,000 in 2022.

Most recently, a seven-year-old drowned in March when she fell into a canal that flows into the English Channel. The boat was overcrowded with 15 people and capsized.

Carolin Dylla, ARD Paris, tagesschau, April 23, 2024 12:04 p.m

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